Children with cerebral palsy have uncharacteristic somatosensory cortical oscillations after stimulation of the hand mechanoreceptors

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16 Scopus citations


Numerous clinical investigations have reported that children with cerebral palsy (CP) have tactile discrimination deficits that likely limit their ability to plan and manipulate objects. Despite this clinical awareness, we still have a substantial knowledge gap in our understanding of the neurological basis for these tactile discrimination deficits. Previously, we have shown that children with CP have aberrant theta-alpha (4-14. Hz) oscillations in the somatosensory cortices following tactile stimulation of the foot. In this investigation, we evaluated if these aberrant theta-alpha oscillations also extend to the hand. Magnetoencephalography was used to evaluate event-related changes in the theta-alpha and beta (18-34. Hz) somatosensory cortical oscillations in groups of children with CP and typically developing (TD) children following tactile stimulation of their hands. Our results showed that the somatosensory theta-alpha oscillations were relatively intact in children with CP, which is in contrast to our previous results for foot tactile stimulations. We suspect that these inter-study differences may be related to the higher probability that the neural tracts serving the lower extremities are damaged in children with CP, compared to those serving the upper extremities. This inference is plausible since the participating children with CP had Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) levels between I and II. In contrast to the theta-alpha results, children with CP did exhibit a sharp increase in beta activity during the same time period, which was not observed in TD children. This suggests that children with CP still have deficits in the computational aspect of somatosensory processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Sensory
  • Tactile
  • Theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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